In this age of obscurity can you afford multiple vendors?

As the world becomes increasingly digital, and the option to automate business processes becomes straightforward, how do we decide whether to engage a single vendor or many vendors for all the different processes we need?

To help answer this question, let’s look at five important factors to consider before making a decision about which to choose:

1. Best-of-breed

An integrated solution isn’t necessarily going to offer the absolute best-of-breed product for each of its components, but each component is going to be excellent and well above average.

Multiple vendors: This is the only real reason you may choose multiple vendors, performing highly specialised functions, over a single vendor.

Single vendor: Single vendors that are dedicated to just one type of function may perform a very specialised function that only some businesses need. Most businesses won’t need a specialist product but rather one that is comprehensive and easy to manage.

2. Implementation

Multiple vendors: The responsibility is on you to ensure all the different pieces of software you need are compatible with each other, i.e. you need to integrate your business systems with your backup service, your anti-virus and anti-ransomware providers, cyber security and, if you use them, your business continuity and data compliance software.  

Single vendor: You only need to integrate your existing business system with one comprehensive product.

3. Cost

Pricing will be different if you’re with multiple vendors or a single vendor, and you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons up for your particular business. 

Multiple vendors: You’ll probably have higher overall costs due to separate bills for each product. 

Single vendor: You’ll probably have lower overall costs due to a better volume discount from the single vendor.

4. Training and Support

Training is worthwhile to make the most of your software, but how much training and support are you likely to get from a single vendor vs multiple vendors?  

Multiple vendors: You’ll need separate training from each vendor, and this will obviously take some time. In terms of support, again, you will need to contact different support teams for different vendors. Also, you may not know which product is at the root of your compatibility issues, and that could be time-consuming to solve.  

Single vendor: You’ll only need training for the one product and support will cover all aspects of it. Single vendors of an integrated product are often big enough to have chat-line options and online training as a fallback. 

5. Upgrades

Keeping up with software upgrades is a vital component of cyber security and needs to be done as soon upgrades are available. Here’s what to expect from your vendor choice: 

Multiple vendors: You’ll need to keep up with multiple upgrades, which could end up taking a lot of your time, both in finding out when upgrades are available for each piece of software, and then implementing the various upgrades across company devices. 

Single vendor: The complexity and strain of needing to update different systems at different times fall away. A single upgrade is manageable when required. 

Chat to IronTree about the route that could work for you, based on your business requirements. 

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